Yes Finland, the not-so-well-known of the Nordic countries. With the apparently impossible language (Olen silti yrittää!) and introverted, dark humoured and quiet population – Well if all of those stereotypes are true, I’ll probably not come back, it sounds perfect to me! In order to raise some funds, I am currently having a sale!
On the 2nd of April I am heading to Arteles, which is Finland’s only specialist residency centre. I’ll be taking part with 11 other artists in their Back to Basics residency, which involves no internet access, no phones and a lot of focus, meditation and probably reading and sketching! I applied for the residency in September 2016 after a particularly difficult summer; with the cancellation of one of my favourite summer craft fairs and a generally slow year. It seemed like it was time to try something new, and when I saw the application for the residency I couldn’t ignore the feeling in my heart that it was something I should apply for immediately.
I’ve been aching to do something like this for a long time, and I’ve applied to a few different residencies over the year but I’ve never been successful before. I did not think I would get in to this one either, this wasn’t just Scotland wide competition; this is advertised worldwide and there were 263 applications for only 36 spaces. I was delighted when I found out I had been successful. I just kept saying over and over “I’m going to Finland?!!”
The title of the residency is “Back to Basics”
We’ll be offline, no internet, no mobile phones, and with twice daily self-directed meditation it will stop that information overload. It’s a time to really focus on where my business is going, where I’d like it to go and what I want it to be. I have a lot to figure out when I get to the residency but I applied for funding and that has significantly helped me narrow down exactly what I want to get out of my time there. I’ve just received an email with more details of the programme and I can’t tell you how excited and nervous I am about it!
I currently have lists coming out of my ears, with lots of things I need to do before I go and even now it is pushing me in ways I didn’t think I’d stretch so I am enjoying the experience thoroughly already. I will not be blogging about my time in Finland until I am back in May, but I will be writing down my experiences in a real actual journal(!) with a pen, so you can be sure you’ll hear about every detail of my trip when I return.
My online shop will be open, for IN-STOCK ITEMS ONLY, any orders placed on the website will be checked and posted ONCE A WEEK, if you’ve got an important birthday to buy for please do it early, as I will be unable to check my emails more than once a week on a Monday. Items will still be posted from Scotland, thanks to my lovely Mum but your main point of contact will still be me.